Trip Start Nov 27, 2005
9Trip End Dec 08, 2005
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Cabins: We book an inside cabins (9061). The only time we spent in our cabin was sleeping. It's not big, but adequate. And it's true that it was designed for the Asian market: everything is low for Occidental standards. By the way, we booked the cheapest rate, and got a 5 category /5 floor upgrade. The closet somehow small for 11 days but I'm use to live from the suitcase. And the TV tiny; a shame because they showed good movies. If you are sharing the cabin with someone besides your partner, it is really small.
Food: Two main restaurants, a buffet and several specialty restaurants (can't opine on these). Forget the Garden and go to Windows: same menu, larger and faster service, and if you get a table near the windows is gorgeous
Dinner: 5 starters /5 soups and 5 entrees, all different every day.
Breakfast: Big buffet selection and omelets and waffles made to order. (We tried Windows one day but 45' minutes for breakfast is too much.
Booze: If you buy a wine bottle they'll keep it available for you at any restaurant. Drinks at the bar were about $6 and wine prices were fair.
We'd rate a 9 for variety, a 7.5 for quality (the simpler the dish the better it was, and is not easy to feed 2,000 people at once) and a 10 for hygiene (we were given a private tour of the galley and you could eat on the floors).
If giving a rating considering the price paid it would be a 10, no questions.
Service: Not the Four Seasons, but better than many 5 star hotels I've been; and sure the friendliest. From housekeeping (thank you Gladys), to the restaurants (Lyudmila), to the officers (Alexandra and Rob), to the Medical Staff, to the Entertainment staff (Julie).
- One night arriving to our cabin the toilet had overflow. Because it was late (11pm) and while they fixed it and drained the carpet, they offered us another cabin to sleep during that night, that we gladly used.
- I had the bad luck of passing a kidney stone during the trip: I woke up at 2am in great pain, and in five minutes I was at the infirmary with a nurse and a doctor. They took good care of me, sent me the next day to the port's hospital and followed up the next day
Entertainment: You can't get bored. Nice gym, big pool and two aquaswims, although people used these as bathtubs. The arcades are really fun and most of them free!!!! And plenty of activities as craft lessons, cooking demonstrations, midnight movies at the theater, etc. Nevertheless the best was the daily theater show. We were really surprised by the quality of the shows.
Freestyle and Dress code: You can go to dinner without prearranged time or table, and no jeans, shorts or sneakers allowed after 5.30 in the main restaurants. The dress code is not strictly enforced (plenty of sneakers and sweat suits) and in formal nights (2) we were seated with the formal-dressed crowd, although we weren't. We like it informal, and when seating you can choose between being on your own or sharing a table, which we did and meet different people. We'll look for Freestyle next time.
We were shocked that the Caribbean Islands are so poor and I've traveled through Latin America and Africa. Despite some resorts or some villas clusters, the majority of the population lives in precarious conditions. Nevertheless, and although their accent and way of talking appears though, they are truly nice and welcoming people, and we got only nice gestures from them.